FAYETTE, Iowa - Organizers with the Fayette County Food Shelf are still trying to get back to normal after a devastating fire.
The electrical fire broke out on New Year's Eve, destroying the food shelf along with the food inside. No one was hurt, but organizers have had their hands full with projects to get back on their feet.
On Sunday, volunteers turned to a love of food to help out the food shelf.
"You just keep the grill warm, and you just flip them real quick," said Volunteer Pancake Cook Tom Rosenbum.
People packed the Fayette Community Church for an all-you-can-eat pancake bunch. Hundreds of pancakes sizzled on the grill as people handed over the donations. At the end of the event, the funds added up to $829.00.
"Around here when we have problems, a lot of people pitch in and help, ya know?" Rosenbum said.
"We have to get ourselves up and going and make it work," said Fayette County Food Shelf Manager Karen Martin.
Martin said after the fire they needed extra support, and the community hasn't fallen short. In fact, Martin accepted some much bigger donations on Sunday after the pancake brunch.
"We are here to help support the Fayette County Food Bank," said Lynch Family Foundation's Erin Golly.
The Lynch Family Foundation, based in Waucoma, and Rockweiler Appliance & TV, out of Decorah, presented the food shelf with four refrigerators and four new freezers filled with food.
"We are in small towns and we support small town people," said Rockweiler Appliance & TV's Dean Rockweiler.
The new items are already in use at the pantry's new home. After working out of a temporary location, volunteers moved into the new site a couple days ago. It took a lot of cleaning to get rid of the smoke residue, but the pantry is up and running in the building that's connected to the fire-damaged pantry. Martin said they're still trying to decide what to do with the building where the fire broke out.
From pancakes to a new home, the food shelf is taking big steps in the recovery process to serve the people who need it most.
"It's just so nice to have such good support," Martin said.
The food shelf depends on donations and grants to provide its services. Last year the pantry served more than 1,900 people throughout Fayette County.